Govt failed to learn from the Pathankot at­tack: House panel HC halts cut­ting of trees for Metro-3

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ra­jesh Ahuja let­ters@hin­dus­tan­ HT Correspondent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­

A par­lia­men­tary panel said some­thing is “se­ri­ously wrong” with the coun­try’s counter-ter­ror es­tab­lish­ment, even as it pulled up the gov­ern­ment for fail­ing to learn from the Pathankot air­base at­tack.

The at­tack on the for­ward base in the border state of Pun­jab on Jan­uary 2, 2016, left seven se­cu­rity per­son­nel dead. It took forces three days to se­cure the air­base. In­dia has blamed Pak­istan based Jaish-e-Mo­hammed for the at­tack. The panel also ques­tioned the role of the Pun­jab po­lice and their han­dling of the events be­fore the as­sault.

The Bom­bay high court on Thurs­day re­strained all author­i­ties from cut­ting any tree for the Metro-3 line. More than 5,000 trees are re­quired to be cut for the cur­rent route. The court also ex­pressed the need to form an in­de­pen­dent com­mit­tee of ex­perts to look into the mat­ter of cut­ting so many trees and to ex­am­ine the vi­a­bil­ity of re­lo­cat­ing the trees re­quired to be cut for the metro line between Co­laba and SEEPZ in And­heri.

The judges ex­pressed the need af­ter senior ad­vo­cate Janak Dwarkadas, rep­re­sent­ing one of the pe­ti­tion­ers, Mina Verma, pointed out in the past five days the Metro-3 con­trac­tor has dec­i­mated about 100 trees. There is an Act to pro­tect and pre­serve trees in ur­ban ar­eas, there is a tree au­thor­ity and tree of­fi­cer and a pro­ce­dure to grant per­mis­sion for cut­ting trees, said the senior ad­vo­cate.

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